Last summer, I came across a really great deal on ground turkey at the Harris Teeter and bought about 8 packs for our freezer. Then I started a quest to find some great ground turkey/chicken recipes. I came across a recipe for Chicken Piccata Meatballs and made it for dinner one night. It was an instant family favorite and I have made these meatballs several times since then.
The original recipe called for 1 1/4 pounds of ground chicken, but most of the packages in my grocery store come in 1 pound packages. To make up for the difference, I add 1/2 cup of cottage cheese to the recipe, which helps keep the meatballs moist. I also like to cook the the meatballs in my air fryer. I have also reduced the amount of butter used in the original recipe. These meatballs are great served with a green veggie over rice or pasta or with some yeast rolls.
Chicken Piccata Meatballs (Adapted from Little Spice Jar)
For the Meatballs:
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon lemon zest, from two lemons
3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup fresh chopped parsley or 1 heaping tablespoon dried parsley
1 pound ground chicken (or turkey)
1/2 cup cottage cheese
For the Sauce:
2 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups chicken broth (or 1 1/2 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon mixed into 1 1/2 cups hot water)
1/4 cup capers (plus 2 teaspoons caper brine)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from two lemons)
In a medium bowl, mix together all the meatball ingredients until just combined. Just be sure you don’t overwork the meat. Roll into 20-22 meatballs using cookie scoop or about 1 1/2 tablespoons each.
Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees. Cook meatballs in air fryer for 10-12 minutes turning once until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. If you prefer, you can also cook the meatballs in a little oil in a skillet over medium-high heat for 10-12 minutes. Remove meatballs from skillet and set aside.
Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the skillet along with the garlic and cook for 30 seconds over medium-high heat or until fragrant. Add the flour and whisk. Once the flour cooks for 30 seconds, slowly pour in the chicken broth with one hand while you continue to whisk with the other hand. Add the caper brine, capers, lemon juice, and allow the sauce to gain a simmer. Then add the meatballs, reduce the heat to medium and let thicken, about 5-7 minutes. Lower the heat to low, add the remaining tablespoon of butter and allow it to melt slowly into the sauce as you stir. The butter will help thicken the sauce further. Serve with additional chopped parsley on top if desired.